Somewhere along the evolutionary path from spear-toting hunter-gatherer to soylent-swigging smartphone soldiers we went from a diet featuring whole ingredients to unholy matrimonies of industrialized monstrosities, harvested, mechanically separated, and reassembled into questionable beef-like objects.
As a result, we’ve become weird about food. We’re lactose intolerant, gluten-free, non-GMO, grain-free, buzzword fiends chasing the dietary dragon to get our fix of that pure, unadulterated taste we remember from a time long forgotten. But guess what? The real solution isn’t the next big thing. It was actually the first big thing: Pre-Industrial food. No feedlots, no added hormones, no unnecessary antibiotics, no corn-fed cattle.
Pre® wants to set the taste clock back to the time just before food got so weird, and keep the quality right there. It’s not going to be easy, but doing things the right way rarely is. These things make us different, and we’re okay with that.
So we founded a company to deliver just that – offering the best-tasting, highest-quality beef in the world – with absolute transparency from pasture to package to plate.
All of our beef is grass-fed and grass-finished from Australia and New Zealand, where nutrient-rich grasses grow year-round for cattle. Plus, they have some of the strictest standards. All our beef is cut, trimmed or ground in Chicago.
We think about beef differently, so we approach beef differently. We believe in respecting your taste, your health and your time. We never add hormones or antibiotics. Absolutely no GMOs. Our packaging is airtight and 100% nitrate and BPA free. We believe organic isn’t a label, it is a lifestyle, and we treat animals with respect.
Our CEO, Kevin Ponticelli, brings more than 30 years of terrific experience from senior leadership positions in food and beverage, working across sales, marketing, and general management, and we’re thankful we have such a proficient leader on-board! His roles have included: COO and President of Mizkan American Inc., CEO for Discovery Foods, President of both Kraft’s North American Cheese business and Kraft’s Pizza Division, and Senior Executive VP for Dairy Management Inc . In fact while at Kraft, Kevin led development, test marketing and expansion of DiGiorno rising crust pizza, and helped to create the ‘It’s Not Delivery, It’s DiGiorno’ ad campaign that launched the business nationally. He’s also a member of the Wayne State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and enjoys all sports. His favorite food is a big, delicious cheeseburger. Which means our ground beef is his go-to for hand pressed patties grilled medium rare over a charcoal fire, with a melted slice of American cheese on a toasted bun (with all the fixings)….accompanied by an ice cold beer. It’s his perfect, nostalgic meal that brings back great memories of hot summer cookouts and family picnics.
Nicole is our savvy and tenacious CMO. She is not just at Pre for the chuck roast (which she uses in a killer French onion soup), she’s here because she is passionate about the importance of real food and Pre’s mission to deliver real, grass fed and finished beef to carnivores all over the country. She knows how to get things done, create great experiences (even on a short deadline), plan, strategize, and rock & roll. You will probably never see Nicole at her desk for more than an hour, because she is always in motion, working with our partners, team members, and customers. She comes to Pre with 20 years of experience in start-up businesses like Boca, Forkless Gourmet, and Natural Fitness from ground zero. So it’s not her first rodeo when it comes to start-ups and small businesses. In her off-time from being our fierce boss lady you can find her spending time with her family and probably enjoying some Swedish fish too.
Pat is our enthusiastic and fearless COO. She knows all the tiny details that go into making sure our beef tastes exceptional and makes it to our plates (or grills, or burger buns...) in perfect condition. Pat is always on the move, (and she is counting her Fitbit steps to prove it). With over 18 years of experience in the food industry, she's got an overwhelming amount of beef geek knowledge that she is constantly using behind the scenes and sharing with others. If you were to ask her what her favorite cut of Pre beef is, she wouldn't be able to give you just one answer. When Pat is not in Pre HQ or visiting our suppliers and farmers in New Zealand and Australia you can find her hanging out with her two kids, traveling to new places, being outdoors in any season (what a great Chicagoan) or taking in a great book.
Jason is our good-natured and proficient CFO. He joined Pre because of the shared mutual values regarding our desires to eat healthier, understand more about where our food is coming from, and what ingredients are used in it. We are excited to have him here — he comes with tons of experience working in finance at companies like SpotHero, Orbitz, and Kraft. Jason loves our filet mignon because it’s delicious and goes well with just about anything! When Jason is not at Pre you can find him spending time with his kids (probably being pranked by them) and doing fun things in and around Chicago.
"Pre fuels my beef nachos addiction and my desire to constantly challenge the way the beef industry is portrayed. I love the 92 ground beef because it’s so versatile. Guilty pleasures: video games, reading comics, eating Mike and Ike Zours and drinking black coffee. My ideal weekend is painting or collaborating on art projects, seeing stand-up, a concert or dancing, and having great food & drinks with great company."
"My favorite cut is the ribeye, best flavor. Pre fuels my ambition to overcome the many operating obstacles startups face daily. My guilty pleasure…Swedish Fish. My ultimate weekend is relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Tulum, Mexico."
Jen is our Account Manager. Have you ever gone to pick up Pre at the grocery store and there is a woman straightening the shelves and conversing with the meat managers in Pre attire? That is probably Jen, making sure our stores are top notch for carnivore consumption. Jen is always working towards the future, whether that means introducing Pre to new retailers, figuring out ways to support our customers through store events, or watering our herb garden at the Pre office so her fellow employees can have fresh basil all year round—Jen is always someone you can count on. She believes in Pre and it shows through her positive attitude, enthusiastic energy and teamwork.
Jon is the Controller at Pre. He usually gets to the office first in the morning on his bicycle and can hold his own during our table tennis matches. He’s got a great plaid shirt for every camping trip and our chuck roast is his go-to, barbacoa-style specifically. Jon brings over 12 years of experience in finance to Pre and is a passionate foodie (so we always make sure he is available during our recipe testing). In his spare time, Jon prefers to be outdoors. We are pretty sure if we had a rooftop Jon might up be there all day.
Julie is really into food. Some might argue too much (we wouldn’t though, she is a Food Scientist after all). She’s our Quality Manager and we are very happy about that. Whether she is conducting a food quality experiment, testing new products (and we don’t mean JUST taste testing) or overseeing our production process, her goal is always the same: deliver the highest quality product and taste every single time. She knows how things work, why they work, and how to make them work better. And she can tell you all the reasons why bread tastes better toasted. Julie has been named one of Progressive Grocer’s 2018 GenNext Award winners and has worked in the food industry for companies like Hillshire Brands and Tyson Foods before finding her way to Pre. Outside of work, Julie loves cooking, doing yoga, hanging by a fire pit (master of s’mores) or spending time with her husband and new baby daughter (lovingly referred to as nugget).
"My favorite cut is the filet mignon. It melts in your mouth. Pre fuels my creative drive to create delicious and innovative content. My guilty pleasure is cheesecake and Cheddar Ruffles. My ideal weekend is spent by the lake in the sun with good people."
"My favorite cut is the filet. Perfect size, super tender, less fat but tons of flavor. Pre fuels my desire to change the beef industry from the inside out. My guilty pleasure is baking delicious desserts. On the weekend, you’ll find me painting, dog cuddling, at game nights with friends and having really good dinners, of course."
Madeline is our energetic and efficient Account Manager. She handles the East markets (and sometimes the Midwest and the West, oh, and the south too) to coordinate all of our events and grocery store demos, new store launches and more! She makes sure all our stores have what they need, when they need it, and helps plan and implement our events. She is also an amazing Opera singer (no kidding, she’s professionally trained), a spicy food junkie, and can “out-yoga” anyone at the office. She brings a wealth of experience, from working with brands like Bai, KRAVE Pure Foods, and RedBull, and she is a huge fan of our filet mignon. When she’s not at Pre, you can’t find her, because she is unplugged and in the wilderness.
Ashley is our Accountant, aka Money Crunching Boss Lady. She plays a fierce game of tennis (on weekends she plays on USTA leagues!) so challenge her at your own risk. We are excited Ashley is here because she is a a team-player fueled with ambition and positivity to help Pre succeed. If you forgot your receipts, you (might) be able to make up for it by giving Ashley a bag of kettle chips or popcorn. She is a passionate cook and always ready for a recipe taste test in the Pre kitchen. On the weekends Ashley loves to try out new breakfast joints and enjoys quality time with friends and family.
Ed is our Supply Chain Analyst, he makes sure we are operating smart and making good calls for production, logistics, and warehousing. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and a soft spot for donuts. He’s super helpful when we are planning events and he comes to Pre with loads of experience from brands like PepsiCo, Ubelong, and AFN. His favorite cut is the filet mignon, because it is juicy, lean, and well-proportioned. If you want to find Ed on the weekend, you’d better go to the lake – Ed will be there all day and ready with a burger and a beer for dinner.
Joe is our Director of Operations and he has been with Pre® since Day 0. When it comes to making sure our product arrives safely and within the right time frame for “wow, that’s tender,” Joe has the schedule memorized and is monitoring it to the minute and temperature (and he is probably 2 months ahead of you on it too). He’s a certified meat cutter, cheeseburger enthusiast and overall incredibly intelligent beef geek, because Joe solves any problem and can even find problems before they need to be solved. With experience at companies like Tyson, Hillshire, and the Chicago Meat Authority, Joe is our champion at optimizing our production process and acquiring our raw materials (also our table tennis champion). Outside of Pre, Joe enjoys a good bike ride or taking his crazy dog, Lula, for a walk. He is also a pretty good chef (no Michelin stars, but good, in our opinion) at cooking up challenging and delicious meals.